New Filmmakers Weekend In Philadelphia

New Filmmakers Weekend will start in Philadelphia. It is generously sponsored by Marcy Gringlas & Joel Greenberg, the Neubauer Family Foundation, Etta Winigrad, Joseph S. and Renee M. Zuritsky/Parkway Corporation, and Philip Lindy.

LOCAL THEME AWARD: TO SAVE A LIFE. Director Steven Pressman Saturday, March 17, 8:30pm at The Prince Music Theater with Awards Ceremony for all Winning Filmmakers prior to screening

Courtesy of PerlePress Productions

To Save A Life is a new documentary film that tells the dramatic and never-­before-told story of Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, a Jewish couple from Center City Philadelphia who traveled into the heart of Nazi Germany in the spring of 1939 in a daring effort to rescue 50 Jewish children and bring them back to the United States. Not only did the Krauses have to deal with high–ranking Nazi officials in Berlin and Vienna, but they also had to get around America’s rigid and restrictive immigration policies, which  made it nearly impossible to bring Jewish refugees — even children — into America. In carrying out this incredible mission, Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus were responsible for rescuing the largest known American transport of refugee children throughout the Holocaust.

Produced and directed by first-­time filmmaker Steven Pressman, To Save A Life combines interviews, rarely-­seen archival footage and photographs, and recreated dramatic scenes, resulting in a 62-­minute documentary film that vividly brings to light this incredible Holocaust rescue story more than 70 years after it occurred. To Save A Life is narrated by actor Peter Riegert (Local Hero,
Crossing Delancey, The Sopranos, The Good Wife). The film features the voice of actress Pamela Reed (The Right Stuff, Tanner ’88, Parks and Recreation). Appearing in the film are several of the surviving children who were rescued by Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus. The film also includes insightful  commentary from leading Jewish scholars, including Jonathan Sarna of Brandeis University, Marsha Rozenblit of the University of Maryland, and Paul Shapiro, from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C..

National Award: Paul Goodman changed my life

Director Jonathan Lee
Sunday, March 18, 7:30pm at The Prince Music Theater
Paul Goodman was once so ubiquitous in the American zeitgeist that he merited a “cameo” in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. Author of legendary bestseller Growing Up Absurd (1960), Goodman was also a poet, 1940s out queer (and family man), pacifist, visionary, co-founder of Gestalt therapy-and a moral compass for many in the burgeoning counterculture of the 1960’s.

Paul Goodman Changed My Life immerses you in an era of high intellect (that heady, cocktail-glass juncture that Mad Men has so effectively exploited) when New York was peaking culturally and artistically; when ideas, and the people who propounded them, seemed to punch in at a higher weight class than they do now. Using a treasure trove of archival multimedia-selections from Goodman’s poetry (read by Garrison Keillor and Edmund White); quotes from Susan Sontag, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Noam Chomsky; plentiful footage of Goodman himself; plus interviews with his family, peers and activists-director/producer Jonathan Lee and producer/editor Kimberly Reed (Prodigal Sons) have woven together a rich portrait of an intellectual heavyweight whose ideas are long overdue for rediscovery.
*Followed by panel discussion led by Elliot Ratzman (with filmmaker and other panelists TBA)

Chair’s Choice

Monday, March 19, 7pm

The Prince Music Theater Selected by PJFF Chair, Phyllis Fischer

An up-tight lawyer, Lenny Rubins, (Timothy Spall), has to put his dream retirement on hold when his ailing mother (Honor Blackman) emotionally blackmails him into reuniting his estranged children for a Jewish holiday. They may be peas from the same pod, but in Lenny’s eyes, his grown-up children are certainly not even from the same planet: a ruthless control-freak and hard-nosed capitalist, an outspoken, argumentative eco-warrior committed to the cause, an outer-worldly Buddhist Monk; and to cap it all, a bible obsessed Rabbi. While they might quarrel, fight, and perhaps even initiate a war in Africa, they are still family.

It is going to take a whole lot of soul-searching and sacrifice for everyone to come together in this comic drama.

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